Why Do Dartboards Have Cracks? (Is it an Issue?)

If you’ve just purchased a brand new dartboard you might wonder why it has loads of tiny cracks on the surface and if it is faulty. However, there’s no need to worry as these cracks are completely normal!

All bristle dartboards have cracks in them which is caused when the fibres are compressed and glued together during the production process. Cracks in the dartboard completely normal, even when brand new and they and are not a sign of damage or wear.

Here are some examples of cracks in the surface of a dartboard.

Do All Types of Dartboards Have Cracks?

Not all types of dartboards have cracks. Only traditional sisal (bristle) dartboards should have cracks in them. Other types of dartboards such as those made from plastic, paper and cork should not have any cracks in them and any surface imperfection will have been caused by wear.

Plastic, paper and cork boards do not have cracks because they are made from a single piece of material, unlike bristle (sisal) dartboards. Although cork boards are made from compressed cork shavings, the board itself is cut from a single piece of this compressed cork so cracks are very unlikely to form.

Why Do Sisal Dartboards Have Cracks?

The cracks in sisal dartboards are caused by the manufacturing process.

Most dartboards are made from sisal fibres which are compressed and glued to the backing and held in place by metal bands. Sisal fibres are very durable, they also return to their original state when the dart is removed from the board.

Here’s how dartboards are made.

  • Sisal fibres are compressed together
  • The compressed fibres are then cut into buns
  • The buns are them assembled, compressed and glued together to make the board
  • The surface is sanded flat
  • Markings are then printed onto the board
  • The metal wiring is then pressed into the board

The cracks in the dartboard form when the sisal buns are compressed and glued together and the glue dries. This leaves very small hairline cracks in the surface of the board.

Here’s the process in action.

How Many Cracks Should there be in a Dartboard?

There is not an exact number of cracks that should be present in the dartboard. Cracks are completely normal as they are created during the manufacturing process, but the amount of cracks can vary as it depends on the density of the board and the diameter of the sisal buns used. Having more or less cracks in the board is not indicative of quality.

Can I Prevent Cracks in the Dartboard?

Cracks in a dartboard cannot be prevented and will be present when the dartboard is manufactured. The cracks will not worsen over time.

Sisal dartboards are very durable since the sisal fibres are self-healing. As long as you twist the dart to remove it from the board, rather than just pull it straight out, and you rotate the board frequently, it should last for many years before it needs replacing.

Check out this article on dartboard wear, tear and care to learn more about keeping your board in good condition.

Do Cracks Cause Bounce-Outs?

The cracks in a dartboard do not cause bounce-outs or affect the experience in any other way. Good quality dartboards will have the optimal sisal fibre density and thickness to ensure that the dart stays in the board and does not fall out of it.

Bounce-outs occur when the dart either hits the metal wiring or staples, or another dart that is already in the board. They can also be caused by using blunt darts or throwing the darts too softly.

Check out this article I’ve written on preventing bounce-outs to learn more about this topic.

Game and Entertain

Hey, I'm Heather, the owner and creator of gameandentertain.com. I made this website to help you learn more about setting up a home entertainment and games room. My favourite games are ping pong, darts and pool, but I also have experience in other games which I aim to share using this website.

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